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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

My family and I are on the road to North Carolina to our next adventure.  I am in a hotel in Indiana and about to head to breakfast with the family.

My daughter is watching some sort of cartoon based on Lion King.  Supposedly the cartoon is of the descendants of Simba.  Here is something to think about:  In the movie, Lion King, Simba, the son of Mufasa eventually has a cub with Nala.  Nala is another lion within Mufasa’s pride.  If both Simba and Nala are the cubs of lionesses in Mufasa’s pride it means one thing.  Simba and Nala are half siblings.  Both of them had the same father, Mufasa.  Only one male is the father in lion groups.  This is how it works in lions.

At the end of the Lion King, the presentation of the new prince cub’s parents were brother and sister.  And a side note, but also interesting, even if Simba did take over the pride, his first order of business would be to kill every cub in the pride, so that all future cubs would be his, just as his father, Mufasa would have done.  Puts the movie in a whole new perspective, doesn’t it?

The more you know …

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I’m back from a week long vacation with the family.  It was a great time.  Scratch that, it was great the first two days, good the third day, OK on the fourth day, I’m ready to be done on the fifth, I question if I like these people the sixth day and wow, I hate you guys so much on the seventh day.  All in all, a great week.

I’m an introvert (a blog for another time), which means social interactions drain me.  It doesn’t mean that I hate being social, which is a common misconception about introverts, but as the social interactions continue, my energy levels drop.  I enjoy hanging with the family, I really do, but the need for quiet time and isolation increases as time goes by.  It is even worse when screens are not allowed on our family vacation.

No screens is the brain child of my wife, God bless her.  It is her desire for us as a family to focus on each other for a week.  As far as I can tell, she loves this concept and enjoyed the tech-free week.  And I will admit, it was good for the family and it was good for me.  I recommend it to all the families out there to spend time together unmolested by internet, Facebook, Instagram, snap chat, etc.  But for me, it’s as appealing as exercise or an enema (roll credits).  There is no doubt that exercise is good for you, but most people don’t look forward to exercising, especially if you aren’t used to it.  And don’t get me started on enemas.

But just like exercise, dieting, etc., you get to a point where it feels good.  You start to wonder why you haven’t done this sooner.  The same is true for eliminating screens from your life.  Taking a break from email, Facebook and the internet is a wonderfully cleansing activity.  But then you get home, and the TV is back, Wi-Fi is back, and it’s like at the end of a good run is a Dunkin’ Donuts and you decide, “One donut won’t hurt.”  Next thing you know, you haven’t run for years, because donuts and watching TV are way easier than exercise.  I’m not ready to give up my devices, but I love the fact that I have kids and a wife that don’t mind (or at least they fake it well, which is all I really ask) focusing on our relationships together as a family.


I was at Walmart today buying a gift for my daughter’s birthday.  Some glitter from the gift got on my face.  The cashier pointed it out to me and highly recommended that I clean it off before returning home.  I looked at her and knew exactly why she was telling me that I had glitter on my face.  I had to laugh.  Walmart, saving marriages from gross misunderstandings every day.  Where is this commercial?

 

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The family is on a no-tech holiday, more on that later. As a result, the blog will be back next week. Here is what I have planned for the future: My No Tech Vacation, Emotion vs Logic: Battle of the Titans, and a multi part series on Wisconsin. So, stay tuned. In the mean time, here is a quote that I like:

“I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone.” – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

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Welcome to the third installment of the racist trilogy.  It’s Return of the Racist and I promise no Ewoks, which were racist as hell.  I don’t have time to get into that right now, but trust me, raaaaaciiiist (said sing songy).  Despite the titles of episode one and two, OK, you actually are racist (roll credits).  You are not only racist, but your racism can be scored.  Do you know your Race Credit Score (RCS)?  This blog and the URL home of this blog were inspired by a friend of mine.  She was concerned that asking me questions about race and race relations would be offensive and cast her in a negative light.  I informed her that she had a very high RCS with me and like Experian, she would have to do a lot of negative things to significantly lower her race credit rating.  Then it got me thinking, what if you could find out your RCS, kind of like on a website called racecreditkarma.com (roll credits).  Thanks to her and others, a blog is born.  Or in my case, reborn.

So, how would it work?  I would love audience participation on this one.  If you have ideas, please feel free to comment.  But, I’ll go first.  Similar to a credit in real life, most adults have some sort of credit rating.  So, everyone has an RCS, meaning everyone has a level of racism.  For those of you that don’t see color, you don’t have a score at all, and just like in real life, having no credit is worse than bad credit.  My first thought is how long have you gone without making a racist joke or snide comment?  This would be similar to on-time payments and would have a major impact on your RCS.  How many accounts do you have?  Or how many friends do you have on the color spectrum?  Are they accounts that you never use, or do you have a history with any of your more colorful cards?  Any bankruptcies in your past, such as usage of the N-word.  And of course, the myriad of minor impacts on your RCS, such as calling someone by the wrong name because you thought they were the “other black guy”, going up to a minority and saying, “Do you work here?”, showing the not-so-veiled look of surprise when you find out that the black woman you are talking to is a doctor, and the ever popular, “Do you know the other minority that I met a year ago because you all belong to the same network?” question.

The reality is that many of us care to know just how racist we really are.  And perhaps an even greater reality, many of us don’t care to know how racist we are.  It is kind of like the millions of Americans that don’t care to know their credit score.  They just want to live life as if everything is OK and then become surprised when they can’t get a loan to buy that house.  What?  Me?  That can’t be true?  But I have 10 credit cards and I’ve only been late on them a few times.  Well, guess what?  You’re racist.  Whaaaaaaat!?!  As I mentioned in the previous blog, we all have biases in some form or another, but what we don’t realize is these biases make us racists.

We are a society of lines.  We encourage each other to get as close to the line as possible.  We tell stories of near death experiences, and times when we almost asked that fat girl if she was pregnant and we love these stories.  These stories keep us at the edge of our seats.  But when we cross the line, we get crushed.  No one gets mad at a great tackle, but we balk when someone gets hurt.  What did you think was going to happen?  You can’t be negative, biased, tell the “harmless” race joke, or discount someone’s worth because of the color of their skin and expect to escape the racist designation.  Time and time again people behave in such a way that makes certain groups feel lesser and become offended when called a racist.  Really?  So what do we do?  I’m sorry, I like the analogy.  You need to know your Race Credit Score.  Are goal should NOT be how close we can get to the racist line, but our goal should be to be as far away from being racist as possible.  This might mean that you can’t tell that joke that you think is sooooooo funny, because we are going to start caring about how others feel.  I know it’s scary baby birds, but Daddy is going to chew it up and spit in your mouth to make it go down easier (How do you like that image?  I love it!)

Here are some factors to help you determine your RCS (I don’t have time to rank them, I wish I did, but I neither have the time nor the energy to give them their respective point values, but once again, I welcome your input on this list):

  1. Eye contact – When you address a mixed group (various races and genders) do you give everyone equal eye contact?  You have no idea how many times I have been in a group setting, the only black person in the group, and the only person not receiving eye contact from the speaker.  Or conversely, receiving ALL the eye contact.
  2. Assumption of Power – When given the opportunity to choose a person of power, in other words, who among this group is either most likely to know the answer to my question or the leader of this organization.  You assume the minority is not in a position of power.
  3. Mistaken Identity – Do you believe, or by your action prove, that we all look alike.
  4. Relationships – Are you likely to shy away from interracial friendships.  I also include talking to a black person because you are overly trying to be their friend.  Trust me, this is not good for anyone.
  5. Negative/Dismissive Language of Any Kind – <You don’t care about other people’s lives.  They are blowing it out of proportion.  They don’t know me, I’m not racist.  It’s just a joke.  Why can’t they just let it go.  Maybe it’s their fault, did you ever consider that.  It’s not everyone, and it’s certainly not me.  I wish they would just shut up about all of this. Why are they so angry?> Have any of the above phrases crossed your mind or come out of your lips?
  6. A Lack of Desire to Be a Part of the Solution – Do you want to help, or do you just want to be proven right?

I could go on and on, but this blog is getting long.  If you struggle with any or all the above, your score has taken a hit.  So, how can you raise your RCS?  I could go on and on about this as well, but I have chosen to sum it up in one, hopefully, great sentence.  I’m even going to capitalize it for emphasis:

ANY BEHAVIOR BY WORD OR DEED THAT YOU ENGAGE IN THAT AT IT’S HEART IS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE OTHER GROUP’S PERSPECTIVE WILL RAISE YOUR RACE CREDIT SCORE.

I am not asking you to be black , Mexican or Asian.  You don’t need to start wearing a dashiki to work.  I just want you try to understand my and others’ perspectives.  If you interact with me in a way that shows your true desire to know where I’m coming from, than there’s not a mistake you could make that would make me lose respect for you.  We would grow together, and both of us would come out better people.  Don’t ignore your racism.  Look at it.  Examine it.  Get to know it.  Then, and only then, can you know how to be truly far away from it.


Insert bad transition here …

I lost a Pikachu the other day, and I can’t let it go.  I mean, I can’t let go the fact I lost a Pikachu.  I had a lure and incense going.  I was at the local library.  It showed up and I was soooo excited.  I tried two Pokeballs and it kept getting out.  I used a raspberry and on my third try it was in the Pokeball forever and ever, and ever… and as I anticipated the “Gotcha”, it became clear to me that the program froze.  Denied.  I still haven’t let it go.  I have a problem.

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So, my son was reading a book online about winter activities.  Keep in mind, we are not those kind of parents.  We don’t have a family where the son is reading a book online and the daughter is in her room playing with dolls.  Of course, at this time, that was exactly what was happening.  Even a blind squirrel finds a nut.  Anyhoo, my son reads a book online, then listens to the program narrator read the book, and then takes a quiz on the book.  I know.  Kind of nerdy, right?  He loves it!  He gets points for books read and quizzes correctly answered.  It is called Raz Kids.  I highly recommend it.  Besides, if you met my son, you would know, he is anything but a nerd, not that there is anything wrong with that.

In the book, the narrator kept referring to building a snow person.  A snow person?  You mean building a snowman?  I am not exactly anti political correctness, but sometimes I think we go a little overboard with being politically correct.  Are people truly offended by the term, snowman?  Are little girls not growing up to their full potential because of the lack of snowwomen examples in their lives?  Give me a freakin’ break!

I believe in gender issues.  I will be the first person to tell you that images on TV and movies are ridiculous.  I hate the fact that any girl clothing I buy for my daughter is pink.  My daughter doesn’t like pink, and that should be OK.  I think it is disappointing that the only images of women on TV are thin blonde, overly ethnic aggressive, or too jolly fat women.  The reality is that people like female stereotypes.  If you don’t believe me, look at the money made by movies in which women are not played as stereotypes, i.e., Princess and the Frog (see previous blog on this subject).  My three-year-old daughter wanted a doll house for Christmas.  The doll house options made me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit.  You know what I got her?  Scratch that.  You know what Santa brought to our house?  My daughter received a Doc McStuffins Clinic.

Best dollhouse EVER!

Best dollhouse EVER!

It looks just like a house, but it is really a doctor’s house with a female black doctor.  You can’t beat that!  My point is that I believe in gender equality, but I refuse to support the term, snow person.  Why?  Because of the simple fact that all snow beings are male.  How do I know?  Snow balls. I rest my case.

 

 

 

 

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Can you imagine if we take this to the next level?  Hey everyone, let’s go outside and have a snow genitals fight!  Talk about a sign of the apocalypse.  I’m just sayin’ …

Then again, maybe they are gender neutral.  Anatomically correct?

Then again, maybe they are gender neutral. Anatomically correct?  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

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So, my mother-in-law has a dog.  Scratch that, she has a daughter who happens to be a dog.  No, she has a partner, who happens to be a dog.  The point is, my mother-in-law has a dog that is very, very important to her.  She has been divorced for eight or nine years, and as far as I can tell has no interest in getting into another relationship.  This dog is the closest thing to a relationship that I have seen her in.  I don’t say this to be mean, but I am simply attempting to set the stage for the importance of this dog to my mother-in-law.  She is a mix, but with a lot of Cairn Terrier.  The dog’s name is Annabelle.

Not Annabelle, but a pix that looks like her.  Just imagine this dog black, mixed with white hairs.

Not Annabelle, but a pix that looks like her. Just imagine this dog black, mixed with white hairs.

In October, she wanted to visit our family.  She requested to bring Annabelle.  I said, no.  It’s not that I have a problem with little cat-sized dogs.  Scratch that, I do have a problem with little cat-sized dogs, but the stories that I heard about Annabelle did not impress me.  When my wife visited them over the summer, Annabelle barked and growled at my kids.  I found this unacceptable, so she was not allowed in my home.  This did not go over well, but I did not budge on the safety of my children.  So, when we visited them for Christmas, I was very curious how things were going to go with this dog.

Annabelle barked and growled at my kids, my wife, and me.  Unacceptable.  This dog needs to be trained.  This dog needs discipline.  I will tame this dog.  I knew it would be better for everyone if this dog was friendly to my family, but I also felt that I was the Dog Whisperer, and the only thing this wild mutt needed was a little taste of me.  By Christmas day, Annabelle no longer barked or growled at me, nor my wife.  The kids were still an issue, but now I could tell her to stop, and there was a chance she would listen.  My mother-in-law even stated, “I knew you would be able to control her.”  Darn tootin’.  ‘Cause I’m the Dog Whisperer.

On Christmas day, the house was in chaos.  Mother-in-law was in the kitchen cooking.  My wife was sick in bed.  The cousins and brother-in-law were playing in the snow, and sister-in-law was caring for my wife.  Annabelle needed to be walked.  I volunteered, after all, she and I were friends now.

She was leashed and we were off on our walk, or closer to a run.  I see a guy drive by and all I could think was, “This is not my dog, dude.  I would never own a little dog like this.”  Then, she started pulling on the leash as if she had somewhere to be and she was late.  This dog needs to be trained, I thought.  I pulled the leash and told her to stop.  She kept pulling.  Her leash got tangled.  Served her right.  I decided to enter a tennis court, remove her leash and set her straight.  We walked into the fenced-in court, trudging through snow taller than her.  I took the leash off, thinking, even if she runs a little, we are in a fenced-in tennis court, so where could she go?  The leash is off, and she bolts away through the small opening in the tennis court fence. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no …”

I yell, “Annabelle COME!”  She stops.  I exhale.  OK, now, nice and calmly, “Annabelle, come.”  She doesn’t move.  She just stares at me.  She is about 10 feet away, but she might as well be 10 miles.  I need her to come to me so that I can get the leash back on.  I take a step towards her and she runs away another 10 feet.  “Annabelle COME!”  She stops.  She stares at me.  I stare at her.  I take another step.  She runs away another 10 feet.  I stop.  I stare.  She stares.

She stares back as if to say, I’ve got to do this.

No, you don’t have to do this.

I have to do this.

This does not end well for either one of us, Annabelle.

I stare.  She stares.  And with a wink, I swear I saw a wink, she takes off running.  I run after her while continuously screaming ANNABELLE!  And as I am running, I can’t help but think, why is this little dog’s name Annabelle?  Why couldn’t I be yelling Butch, or Hank, I’d even settle for a Sam, a name that could go either way, but I’m yelling through the streets of Minneapolis, Annabelle.  I can’t go out like this.

Then out of nowhere, a huge dog runs out into the street towards Annabelle, probably named Butch or Spike, or something like that.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no,… ANNABELE!! COME!! Luckily the owners of the big dog come out of the house and reign in their manly dog, but of course they hear me screaming Annabelle and running down the street.  “It’s not my dog, but can you grab her!?!”  Annabelle takes off running, straight for a very, very busy street.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no … All I could think of was, “Today is Christmas.  I can’t kill my mother-in-law’s dog on Christmas.” Cars drive passed, but she makes it across safely.  I see the house up ahead.  She is clearly heading home.  I get my cell phone out of my pocket.  I call my brother-in-law.  “Please help me get Annabelle.  She is loose and heading towards the house.  If at all possible, please be discrete.”

I finally make it back to the house.  I see my brother-in-law, and he gives me the thumbs up.  That could have went all kinds of bad.  I get to the backyard, and Annabelle starts barking up a storm at me.  My brother-in-law informs me that no one knows a thing.  Good man.  I walk into the house, up the stairs and into our room.  My wife is still in bed.  I am wheezing.  I pull out my inhaler and take a hit.  “Is everything OK?” my wife asks.  “Just the cold air”, I respond.

I return to the back yard.  Annabelle barks at me.

I thought, you and I are going for  a walk.  You are going to come to me and I am going to put this leash on you.  Then, we are going for a walk.  I’ve owned dogs that would eat you for breakfast.  We are going for a walk.  “Annabelle, come.” She stops barking and stares at me.  “Annabelle, come.”  She takes a step towards me.  I bend down, I put the leash out in front of me and calmly, but sternly say, “Annabelle, come.”  She walks to my hand, I grab her by the collar and hook her to the leash.  We went for a walk.  She did not pull, she did not run, she never let the leash go tight.  She never barked nor growled at me again.  She still barked at my kids, but we will work on that next time, but at my house.

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You ever forget that it was Valentine’s day? Or your anniversary? Or your girlfriend’s birthday?  If so, you have ended up at a florist five minutes before they closed.  At this time, you will see a group of guys huddled around a refrigerator looking for the last remaining rose to appease their partner.  It’s a supportive group of people.  We encourage each other.  We commiserate, and we share our own personal stories, “Forgot my wife’s birthday.”  The other man replies, “Anniversary.”  The two men exchange glances as if to say, “I’m here for you buddy.”  I call this the Doghouse Club.  A time and place where you will never be judged, always supported, and always forgiven by those who have been there.  A place where you could probably get a hug from a complete stranger and a “There there”.  I found a new time and location for the Doghouse Club, a gas station on Christmas Day.  Where you can buy a bag of chocolate chips for five bucks, but be consoled by another man with his story of forgetfulness, “I forgot the meat for dinner.  The wife was not happy.”  We exchanged glances as if to say, “I’m here for you buddy” and I wished him a Merry Christmas.  I would’ve given him a hug too, if he asked for one.  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, I have come to a very simple conclusion:  White people don’t use wash cloths.  Or if you are the sophisticated type, face cloth.  Is this true?  How can using a wash cloth have any cultural bias whatsoever?  I mean seriously, it’s a wash cloth.  Or for all of my homies, a wash rag.  That’s right, I just used the word, homies.  But based on all the homes I have stayed in and showered in, I have to conclude that white people don’t use wash cloths.  At least not in the shower.  Maybe nowhere, I just don’t know.

If I stay at someone’s house and they are of the Caucasian persuasion, and they are a well-prepared host, they will have linens ready to go.  However, 9 times out of 10, I will have to request a wash cloth.  And 9 times out of 10 they will look at me strangely, as if I just requested shower shoes.  And for some of you out there, shower shoes would not be a strange request.  You know who you are.  Clean it up!

What is even more interesting, I have had people ask me if I wanted a wash cloth, but they made the request in a weird way, as if to say, “I normally don’t use one of these things, but I think I read somewhere that your people do, so I’m going to see if you want one.”  Now it makes me wonder, if I get offered a face cloth, does that make them racist?

Seriously, I want to know.  If you are white, do you use a wash/face cloth in the shower?  If not, why the heck not?  Every black person I know uses wash cloths.  How can this possibly be a race thing?  I am sorry, but wash cloths just make sense.  I need to know.

PS – Dry off before you get out of the shower.  Yeah you got a shower mat, but stepping on a soaking wet shower rug is just gross.  I don’t think this is a race thing, but it’s my thing.

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According to one of my classes, students have made it very clear that shower shoes are a requirement for college.  Is this true everywhere?  I feel like with all the issues and challenges college has to offer, getting foot rot should not be one of them.  I’m just sayin’ …

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